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Buying a Car

So I need a new car. I drive a 1990 Chrysler Imperial everyday to work (see below, except it’s white).

An old trusty (crusty?) car that gets the job done. I’m at that crossroads where the money I keep putting into it is starting to average out to a new monthly car payment.

Buying a Used CarThere’s a list of issues that would cost between $2,000.00 and $3,000.00 to resolve during next year, 2008. Which is not too bad but it’s become more stressful to own the car and I have that gut feeling of letting it go. Besides, I’ve driven the beast with no air conditioning for two years. That would be another $1,000.00 to get that fixed. Where I live in the Midwest, the summers can get to 105 degrees.

I could afford a really nice new car but at smart saving and investing I believe a car is a depreciating asset and I don’t even like calling it an asset.

I don’t need to impress anyone with a nice car because my job doesn’t call for that. I already have a decent looking 1999 Honda Accord EX. However, I do need another reliable car because I travel to some offices for work every other month that are 60 to 90 miles away.

Besides, I’m looking forward to a BMW or some other indulgence in my golden years.

History

I bought the 1990 Chrysler Imperial in 1998 for $5,000.00. An elderly person owned it and passed away. The son was trying to get rid of it. These are the best cars to buy sometimes because for a 8 year-old car it only had 25,000 miles on it at the time and was pretty decent for the price. UNBELIEVABLE!! – to me.

I drive 13 miles to work and back home every weekday for a total of 26 miles a day. I’ll round up to 30 miles a day to allow for stopping by the grocery store, etc. So approximately 150 miles a week and approximately 600 miles a month.

Looking for a New Car

My wife and I went looking for a new car last weekend when I started this post and spent quite a bit of time with car dealers. That can be fun. 🙂 Anyway, it’s very tempting to purchase a new sparkling car but the idea of starting monthly payments doesn’t set well with me.

Last Saturday morning, before we went out car shopping I looked out our front window and my neighbor had his car up for sale. Something made me smile. I envisioned me walking over there and buying it. Done!! Now on to the weekend.

Well, we spent all day trying some cars we liked and eliminating them to get a better feel for what we wanted. It was a good time since my wife and I haven’t spent that much time alone for a while. She pesters car salesmen and it’s fun to watch.

So at the end of one grueling day we came home and I looked across the street and my neighbor’s car was looking at me, calling out to me. We walked on over and took a gander at the car, started up a conversation with my neighbor and the next thing ya’ know the car is in my driveway and I was ready to take it to a mechanic the next day for a look see.

The Stars were in Alignment

The car checked out just fine. I might have to do some standard work on it but that’s okay. So I bought it!! 🙂

The car is a 1998 Honda Accord with 105,000 miles on it. We are now a two Honda Accord family – a 1998 and a 1999. I can’t believe it!! All for $4,500.00.

Buying a Car

To think we were looking at 10,000 to 25,000 dollar cars a couple days ago.

I paid by check because you can do that when you’re a saver and an investor for a long period of time. For some folks this might not seem like a big deal but when you’re a boot-strapped individual who had no inheritance, no lottery winnings, no free handouts, a non-working spouse and at one point in my life couldn’t afford a car, completely broke and in big debt, that’s a big deal.

My automatic saving and investing treadmill was uninterrupted and all is well with the car so far. We’ll see how long the car lasts. I’ve been told Honda Accords, as long as you take care of them, will last to and past 300,000 miles. 🙂 Sounds good to me.

That’s my car story and I’m stickin’ to it. Let me know if you have any good car stories.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bridgette November 21, 2007 at 3:24 pm

I can’t believe it! The car you just bought is the same car I have (color and all) except mine is a 2000 Honda Accord. I love my car. I bought mine new but I think you got a good deal on yours. I plan on keeping mine for a very long time.

Bill Stevens November 21, 2007 at 5:02 pm

Thanks Bridgett. Yes, I feel like a got a good deal. I knew I would have to fix a few items but that’s ok with me.

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